Daniel 12:1 predicts a “time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation” that will take place just before the second coming of Jesus.
Have you ever worried about how your kids will face that time?
Will they be strong enough – physically, emotionally, and spiritually?
These are the things that keep parents awake at night, the things that create fear in our hearts.
These feelings are real, but while we can’t change prophecy or avoid what’s coming on the world, we can do all in our power to prepare for that time.
If preparation is the key to survival, how can you help your kids prepare for the troubled times ahead? What can you do to make them physically, emotionally, and spiritually strong?
The following three things will help your kids get through the troubled times ahead:
Let’s take a closer look at how to do these three things: (and perhaps you need to work on these things too!)
The ability to endure hardship begins when kids are young. Here’s how you may be preparing them not to endure:
Here’s what you can do:
If you recognise that you are indulging your children too much and making life too easy for them, then up your “tough parent” game and help your kids get tougher.
Want tougher kids? It’s simple:
Expect it and then do it.
This is not something your kids (or you) will get by just talking about it.
Learn to do by doing.
Obedience is the starting point for character development in a child, and is essential for the times we are entering.
Here’s why it’s important:
If your child is disobedient and won’t submit to your authority it’s going to be hard to get them to cooperate when chaos hits.
They may need to keep quiet when you say so, or do exactly as you say without arguing, negotiating, or whining.
If your child is uncontrollable, will not be quiet or sit down when you say so, it’s going to make a tough situation even tougher and may even endanger lives.
Circumstances may demand that you tell your children to go somewhere and wait for you. If they have not learned to submit to your control (and ultimately God’s control) then that spells trouble – for them and you.
How do you teach a child to think and act for themselves?
Cause and effect – be faithful in following through and giving consequences when your child disobeys. Let them learn that every action has a consequence – good or bad.
Decision making – help your kids think through decisions, weighing up the pros and cons. Don’t spoon-feed your kids and make every decision for them. Allow them to make age-appropriate decisions with your guidance. Talk about mistakes and wrong choices and plan how they can do better next time.
Ask how and why questions in your general conversation and then don’t supply the answers. Richard loved doing this with our family – Why are the clouds moving that way but the wind is blowing the opposite way? Why are all the ships in the bay facing East today? Encourage your kids to ask how and why questions too.
Help your kids to know and understand themselves. Why did I do what I did? Did I follow the crowd? Was I trying to please? Was I impulsive? Did I just not think it through? Did I ignore advice?
Pointing out wrong behaviour without condemning teaches the discernment essential for thinking and acting for oneself. Help your kids learn to make sound judgments based on principle, and not be influenced by someone else’s mind.
To toughen your kids up may demand that you toughen yourself up first! Don’t be afraid to challenge your children and yourself.
Keep the big picture in mind – what you are preparing them for – and teach them to endure hardship, submit to control, and to think and act for themselves.
For more on raising tough kids read How to Raise Strong Kids in a World that’s Against Them.
Which of these areas needs work in your family? Which of them do you need to work on yourself?